I'm partial to Alan Dean Foster's Commonwealth Series.One of the features of that series are extinct species who one ruled the galaxy. The first book in the series, The Tar-Aiym Krang, is about an artifact that is several million years old--and still functional. The End of the Matter is also about an artifact, and archaeological sites abound in the series. The Commonwealth series is not the only story or set of stories where ancient species and archaeology abound, Several of you might have other books that are favorites dealing with this trope. The question that intrigues me professionally is: "Where would species much older than humanity be found? One logical place to start is on planets and in star systems that are millions of years older than ours. Which brings me to my question: are there sections of the galaxy that are older than our immediate neighborhood, and where are those sections to be found?